Last year we told you about San Francisco‘s poop problem. There are so many reports of public defecation that an engineer even made a map of all the human waste around the city. Thankfully, the city is doing something about it — ahead of next month’s Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco has formed the “Poop Patrol” to clean up the streets.
Starting next month, five Public Works employees plus a supervisor will be tasked with patrolling alleys and other popular pooping places. The Poop Patrol will clean the offending material with a steam cleaner. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s 311 service has received 65 calls about feces on average every day since Jan. 1.
Not all of the poop is human, of course. Even though one of Harvey Milk‘s most popular ordinances during his time as a City Supervisor made it illegal to not pick up after pets, many dog owners leave their dogs’ waste where it lay. Gross.
In addition to the Poop Patrol, San Francisco is also adding five additional “Pit Stop” public toilets, and working to extend the hours of the city’s other 22 Pit Stops. Many Pit Stops close in the evening, removing places for the city’s homeless to defecate after hours.
The poop problem has gotten so bad in San Francisco that it’s become a central issue in the mayoral race. Supervisor Jane Kim recently launched a new policy proposal, “San Francisco Loves Clean Streets,” which would hire more homeless people to clean the streets and double the amount of Pit Stops.
Surprisingly, San Francisco’s problems with poop aren’t new. That map we mentioned at the top of the story? It has maps dating back to 2008 — and it stopped updating in 2015. And the problem has only gotten worse; this year has seen almost 2,500 more calls about waste compared to last year.